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I have been throwing around the idea of doing an internship with an airline. Can anyone tell me about their experiences with internships, from applying to completion? What makes someone competitive for an internship? Do you have to pursue an aviation degree? Any info is appreciated, thanks.
You need a 3.0 or above, you must be at least a junior, 1 speeding ticket max., letters of recommendation.

Aviation degree - depends on the airline, at Skywest you can be in other than aviation but the requirments are higher - 400 hours total time, and a commercial licence. At Utah State in the aviation program theirs no minimum hours just a commercial licence and be at least a junior in good standing, no quota for interns.

I have friends that did internships at Skywest - they got sim time in the RJ and Brasilia and a ton of jumpseat time. Got to work with chief pilots, dispatch, pilot training, etc... Everyone I know that did it was hired once they got the mins, so it's definately worth it. I plan on doing it this summer once I have my commercial.

For the major airlines it's pretty competitive I hear, but I would stick with a regional airline because you will have a good chance for a job afterwards if you work your ass off and do a good job, at a major airline - very unlikely.

I believe FlyChicaga posted about his internship exp., and he got hired by the airline he interned with if I remember correctly. You can do a search through his posts.
I believe Fly Chicago posted about his internship exp., and he got hired by the airline he interned with if I remember correctly. You can do a search through his posts.

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That should only take a minute or two.
Requirements for the interships at Riddle have a wide range.
Some require only 2.5 GPA, others high as 3.0, wouldn't suprise me to find a few with a 4.0 requirment. Other details highly depend on the company doing the internship. I have heard that you need to be "squeaky clean" on your driving record for internships. But once again, I guess that can depend on the company. For the most part, this seems to be the way that you meet the people that interview you down the road. My RA just finished a internship with Continental Airlines, and he told that when he gets all of his hours in (around a 1000 or so I believe) he gives his resume to his supervisors at Continental that he worked with and they "forward" it to the Continental Express people.
My RA just finished a internship with Continental Airlines . . .

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What are his/her initials?? I know a guy that just did the same thing....
I just finished an internship with Continental Express (ExpressJet). The requirement for it was pretty much to have a 3.0 GPA or above. I applied 3 different semesters and finally got it the Fall 2003. 3 applications and 1 interview during the 1st application (i still don't get that... I guess persistance does pay off!).

The Internship itself was great. I worked in the Flight Safety office in Downtown Houston. I originally wanted to be up at the flight training office or at the chief pilots office, but am very thankful that I worked where I did. My bosses were a lot of fun and very helpful. They told me to get my ratings and keep in touch (wink wink). I really hope to be back with that airline soon. Oh, by the way... MOST internships are unpaid.. so be prepaired to support yourself while working full time for free. If you manage to get an internship that pays... great!

Anyway, I thought it was a great experience and will hopefully help me to get back on with that airline in the future.

Good Luck!
I've posted about my experience before, but I'll post it here again. I get a lot of PMs about it (I'm terrible at remembering to reply to PMs, for that I apologize!!), so hopefully this will answer many questions about it.

We didn't have an internship program established with Chicago Express when I applied; I was doing it on my own. I just sent my resume, visited the General Offices, kept in touch with the recruiters, and so on. I was very interested in doing in the internship, and even more interested in working for the company some day. I made sure they knew that. I don't really know the requirements for our internship program... I figure I met them. I believe a 2.5-2.8 GPA is required, as well as a Commercial Certificate, and being enrolled in an aviation degree program that provides college credits for the experience. However, you can do the internship the semester immediately after graduation.

When I applied, the internship was less competitive. I was actually the only intern that year... normally they had 3. But I guess the others who had been selected turned down the offer for various reasons. Now, the internship is highly competitive. There were many applicants this past year, and 2 were selected. (I think 15 to 20 or so applied? That's quite a bit.) Like I said, I don't know all the selection criteria, but I believe personality and drive plays a large part in who they select. We are a small company, so they base their selection on who will fit in here, and will work hard during the internship. You really have to want to work here, and make that known.

Now, there are two interviews involved in selection from what I understand. Phone interviews with the HR recruiter and the VP of Operations.

When I interned, I worked in every part of the operation. I worked on projects for the VP of Operations, VP of Customer Service, Director of Inflight, Director of Tech Pubs (a lot of work there), Director of Training, Chief Pilot, Dispatch, Training Department, just to name a few. I had a desk set aside for me in the Tech Pubs office, and did a lot of work in the offices with all the management personnel.

I also did a lot of "aircraft stocking" which meant sitting at our ramp, and getting in the aircraft to revise the Aircraft Flight Manual, checklists, takeoff tables, etc. I'd just spend most of the day hanging at the ramp in Operations running out to planes as they came in to update on-board items. Same is done with current interns.

Although unpaid, I think the greatest benefit of working as an intern was the ability to jumpseat. I used that benefit quite a bit, jumpseating something like 80 hours in the Saab. By the time I left, I had a great understanding about procedures, limitations, systems, etc. of that airplane. Helped me a lot when I got to training, although many of the procedures changed. I had collected a lot of materials on the Saab during the internship to help me out as well, like systems manuals, maintenance training manuals, etc.

I think there are huge benefits to doing a regional internship. I wish I would have done one at a major as well (applied to Southwest, but was too close to graduation). You will learn a LOT about the airlines working on the front lines. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. Plus, I was very lucky to be asked to return as a pilot after graduation to that same company.

Hope that answers some of your questions. If you have more, ask them on here, I'm sure many on here could benefit from them.
Thanks for all the info guys, it's much appreciated.

montanapilot - I do go to Mt. Hood, small world huh? How about this snow? We might not be going anywhere Monday. Give me a PM, maybe we had class together.